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Friday June 9th, 2006

Woke Up This Morning

 "I merely took the energy it takes to pout and wrote some blues." 
 Duke Ellington


Dear Folks,

" 'Woke up this mornin'
Look round for my shoes,
I believe I done catched me
Them rhyming cliche blues.' "
Blind Kaffir Lime Joseph

Blue and shoes. The most classic and cliche blues rhyme of all. Too bad Lightnin' Hopkins, T-Bone Walker and Deaf-Dumb-Blind-in-Both-Eye (and One Leg Cut Off Above the Knee) Lemon Chitlin' Fork didn't have access to an online rhyming dictionary like we do today. Otherwise, they might have found other words to rhyme with blues. Like: abuse, accrues, accuse, adieus, ainus, amuse, argues, bamboos, bantus, bayous, bedews, bemuse, bestrews, boos, booze, breakthroughs, brews, bruise, canoes, cashews, chews, choose, clues, confuse, construes, corkscrews, coups, crews, cruise, cruse, cuckoos, cues, curfews, debuts, defuse, defuze, diffuse, dues, effuse, ensues, enthuse, eschews, ewes, excuse, flues, fuse, fuze, glues, gnus, gumshoes, gurus, hairdos, Hebrews, hews, Hindus, hoodoos, horseshoes, hues, igloos, imbues, infuse, issues, jackscrews, Jews, kazoos, kudzus, lose, masseuse, menus, mews, mildews, miscues, misuse, moos, muse, muumuus, nephews, news, ooze, perfuse, peruse, pews, poohs, previews, purlieus, pursues, purviews, queues, refuse, rescues, reuse, reviews, revues, rough-hews, rues, ruse, screws, shampoos, shoos, shrews, sinews, skews, slews, sloughs, slues, snooze, snowshoes, spews, statues, stews, strews, subdues, sues, suffuse, taboos,, tattoos, thews, thumbscrews, tissues, transfuse, trues, tutus, twos, unscrews, use, values, venues, views, virtues, voodoos, wahoos, whose, woos, yahoos, yews, zoos, and zulus.

This would also come in especially handy for, say, someone like Heather McCartney, who might have a hard time rhyming the singular 'Looked round for my shoe', which doesn't quite fit with 'blues.' She might go for something more like:

'Woke up this mornin'
Look round for my shoe,
Now that Macca's history,
Gonna find me a Zulu.'

The blues done come-a knockin' twice last week on mah door. The first knock came from the producer of the well-known Australian TV series, Neighbours. He had heard some of my mandolin and blues harp playing on an Italian documentary I worked on and asked me if I would create some blues licks for the show. What! you ask? Italian blues? Blues in Neighbours? (For American readers: read 'Blues in Little House on the Prairie'.) Well, why not? Both Italian and African-American cultures cook up a mean pig's feet. (My ol' grandma made them, and I ate them growing up.) Alabama chitlins and Sicilian baccala are practically kissin' cousins. Poor people food. And maybe Neighbours folks are thinking more like 'Homies' episodes or something. (I mean you never can tell who your neighbours are going to be, these days, can you?)

 "White folks hear the blues come out, but they don't know how it got there." 
 Ma Rainey

The second blues 'knock' came from someone I met at the Cindy Sheehan peace rally who asked me to give him a few 'Delta blues' guitar lessons. Now not exactly born and raised in the Delta (the only cotton I done picked, massa, has come from the inside of the white man's vitamin bottle), I suggested that perhaps I could best instruct in my own personal blues style (which is kind of a fusion of Memphis Minnie, Chico Marx and Doctor Phil). But luckily, the very style he wanted to learn was the finger-picking style of Mississippi John Hurt, which so happens to be precisely the same alternating thumb technique as my own finger-picking style. (The Lawd's Thumb done move in mysterious ways!) If any of you folks aren't familiar with Mississippi John Hurt's work, he's the one in the chest-busting scene in the first ALIEN movie.

Here's the link to the online RHYMING DICTIONARY.


I don't know how I got on your list, Joe, you just appeared one day like Molly's hat, but you strike a fun chord in this office .... play on! Regards,
Stephen's Lawyer

Watch what you say about Willie's hair!

(Note: Sara, here's a page which teaches you how to braid your hair like Willie Nelson: Directions



From: Juston Christianj Subject: Monday is a Hard Way to Spend One-Seventh of Your Life

(Note: Great idea for a song lyric. Why didn't Bob Geldof think of that? Ain't that the truth? Quakers refer to Monday as "Second Day" eschewing the pagan origin of the English name ( Moon) which got its name from Mani (Old English Mona), the Germanic Moon god, or the day God - or Sir Geldolf - moons us all.)

News Flashes from the Asylum

News Flash 1!!!!

Greg Palast

" Today is the 50th anniversary of the publication of Allen Ginsberg's poem "HOWL".
You know: "I see the best minds of my generation destroyed by madness."
Just before his death, and into my third or fourth midlife crisis, I decided to become a writer.  Couldn't decide between poetry and investigative journalism.  Ginsberg read my poetry.  He suggested journalism.  And then he said, "You know, Greg, I'm an investigative reporter, too."
Yes, he was. 
In 1956, Ginsberg sat at a kitchen table in San Francisco and wrote that his friends were going crazy.  They could still hear the voice of Joe McCarthy ranting and, out the window, count the Pentagon contractors polishing new war heads.  In an America gone mad, insanity was the best defense.

"The soul," he reported, "should never die ungodly in an armed madhouse."

And that's still the news. "

News Flash 2!!!!

"Godless" is Gutless
Greg Palast

Anne Coulter says we're "Godless" - we "liberals."  And by "liberals," she means anyone who wants to keep the government out of our underpants, out of Iraq, and out of the business of helping Big Business shoplift America. 
It's time someone took on the blonde bully.
Anne, I realize yesterday was special day for you, releasing your book on June 6 - 06-06-06.
Going through it, I must, admit, is heavy going:  'Godless' is a 300-page brick of solid meanness and pin-head hatreds packaged like a fashion magazine:  Big Brother wears Prada.
You accuse those who don't sign on to your list of prejudices as the Lord's enemies.   That's not original, Anne:  the Taliban thought of it before you and they too were partial to dressing in black.
You want to talk about Godless?  OK, let's go:
Would the Lord lie us into a war?
Would the Lord let thousands drown in New Orleans while chilling at a golf resort?
Would the Lord have removed tens of thousands of Black soldiers from the voter rolls as the Republican Party did in 2004?
You talk about being "Christian" - but with all your zeal to fire up electric chairs and Abrams tanks, you sound more like a Roman.
I suggest this, Anne:  let's debate.  Set the time, set the place, and I'll be there.  Nose to nose, my facts versus your fanaticism.
But I know you don't have the guts to do anything but lob idiocies from your electronic Fox-hole.
Your new book is called, "Godless."  Your autobiography should be called, "Gutless."

(Greg Palast, winner of the George Orwell Courage-In-Journalism Prize, is the author of the New York Times bestseller, The Best Democracy Money Can Buy.  Yesterday, he released his book, Armed Madhouse:  Who's Afraid of Osama Wolf?, China Floats Bush Sinks, the Scheme to Steal '08, No Child's Behind Left and other Dispatches from the Front Lines of the Class War.")

   - Coulter Calls 9/11 Widows "Witches"

Conservative author Ann Coulter sparked a storm on Wednesday after describing a group of September 11 widows who backed the Democratic Party as millionaire "witches" reveling in their status as celebrities.
 "I've never seen people enjoying their husbands' deaths so much," Coulter writes in her book "Godless: The Church of Liberalism," published on Tuesday, referring to four women who headed a campaign that resulted in the creation of the September 11 Commission that investigated the hijacked plane attacks. Coulter wrote that the women were millionaires as a result of compensation settlements and were "reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzis."
The four, Kristen Breitweiser, Patty Casazza, Mindy Kleinberg and Lorie Van Auken, declined to discuss the book in detail but issued a statement saying they had been slandered.
"There was no joy in watching men that we loved burn alive. There was no happiness in telling our children that their fathers were never coming home again," said the statement signed by the four, along with a fifth woman, Monica Gabrielle. . .
  . . . Coulter is known for a combative column after September 11 saying: "We should invade their countries, kill their leaders and convert them to Christianity." article

First Officer Announces Refusal to Deploy to Iraq
By Sarah Olson

Ehren Watada is a 27-year-old first lieutenant in the United States Army. He joined the Army in 2003, during the run-up to the Iraq war, and turned in his resignation to protest that same war in January of 2006. He expects to receive orders in late June. He is poised to become the first lieutenant to refuse to deploy to Iraq, setting the stage for what could be the biggest movement of GI resistance since the Vietnam War. He faces a court-martial, up to two years in prison for missing movement by design, a dishonorable discharge, and other possible charges. He says speaking against an illegal and immoral war is worth all of this and more. Journalist Sarah Olson spoke with Watada in late May about his reasons for joining the military, and why he wants out. article

Calling Mr. Smith
By William Fisher

" Stop throwing the Constitution in my face. It's just a goddamned piece of paper!"
George W. Bush


For those gentle readers who've been frittering their time away worrying about gas prices or Iraq or government snooping or the levees in New Orleans, I have good news: It's OK to stop worrying about these minor issues and instead focus your attentions on the transformational event of our century - The Federal Marriage Amendment.

A reminder for those who have been preoccupied with trivial issues: The Federal Marriage Amendment (FMA) mandates that marriage "shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman." We're not talking about a plain vanilla amendment to some pork-barrel spending bill. The FMA is an amendment to our Constitution. And it happens to be the first amendment ever that takes a freedom away from us.

So this is no community theater performance or second-tier Summer Stock. This is Broadway!

And there's a big incentive to pay attention to this passion play. Aside from its profound importance to the future of our democracy, the FMA has all the elements of great political theater. So you can take a break from your hand-wringing and have some fun while battling the sinister forces of evil.

For one thing, the main players are directly out of Central Casting. Center stage you'll find Senator Bill Frist, or Dr. Frist to you. He's the Republican leader in the Senate, and you'll remember him as the heart transplant guy who diagnosed Terry Schiavo's neurological symptoms by long-distance and expressed his doubts that she was brain-dead. I should remind you he's running for president in 2008, and really needs the support of all those wonderful religious fundamentalists who brought us the Cirque Schiavo last year.

Then there's the author of the amendment, Senator Wayne Allard, who tries his best to look and sound like that guy you'd like to have a beer with. This stalwart champion of Federalism is worried that our Constitution is being amended to reflect a new definition of marriage - not by democratically elected members of Congress, but by unaccountable and unelected judges. He's concerned that, "If we in Congress fail to define marriage, the courts ultimately will not hesitate to define it for us." He'd rather see these kinds of decisions made by each state, where legislatures are far more easily manipulated and where there are elected judges. Because if they engage in "judicial activism," the voters in their infinite wisdom (and with tons of money from the religious right) can get them un-elected.

Then there's the chorus, led by groups like the Religious Coalition for Marriage which believes that "the world's great monotheistic religious traditions" and "impeccable social science research" agree that when marriage is "radically redefined" or is "no longer the boundary of sexual activity," the result is damaging to individuals, family life and social justice. Well, it's good to know they're putting impeccable social science research to good use. Research probably done by a federal grant to Bob Jones University. article

Supporters Lose in Gay Marriage Ban Vote !!
By Laurie Kellman
The Associated Press

 Washington - The Senate on Wednesday rejected a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, dealing an embarrassing defeat to President Bush and Republicans who hoped to use the measure to energize conservative voters on Election Day.

Supporters knew they wouldn't achieve the two-thirds vote needed to approve a constitutional amendment, but they had predicted a gain in votes over the last time the issue came up, in 2004. Instead, they lost one vote for the amendment in a procedural test tally. article


Well, in another brain-dead British music poll, Oasis's first album, 'Definitely No Way' (I prefer that title) was voted Greatest Album of All Time, over the Beatles 'Sgt Pepper' (2) AND 'Revolver' (3). Yikes!!! A slight improvement over the last British poll that (ahem!) voted 'Sgt Pepper' the Worst Album of All Time.) But I think it's now time to officially vote Britain the Lamest Music Polling Country of All Time (based on a recent poll conducted via educated guesses and a Ouija board amongst members of the Joe Dolce Two-Up Society Living and Deceased). While it's true that the Brits changed the face of popular music in the late 60s with the Liverpool Invasion, I think it's safe to say that, along with the Yanks fall from grace as the Land of Hope and Freedom, British radio's musical authority has now degenerated back to a bygone era of 'cabbage and lips'. Oasis is creating better music than the BEATLES? Right! Mad cow disease is clearly showing up in the British media. Even the music of The Animals, the Kinks, the Byrds, the Zombies, the Beach Boys, the Band, and scores of other groups from the late 70s - not to mention, of course: The Jimi Hendrix Experience, the Who, and The Rolling Stones - ALL eat Oasis for breakfast.


Magnus Carlsen - the Mozart of Chess


I've always been a big fan of child chess prodigies. First Paul Morphy, then that genius nutcase, Bobby Fisher. Lately, the stunning Judith Polgar, now a young women, but whose games I have followed since she was nine years old. In fact, one of my favourite books of all time is a work of fiction called 'The Queen's Gambit', by Walter Tevis, about chess prodigy Beth Harmon, who becomes the first woman World Champion. A must read.
But I remember reading somewhere that you always find prodigies in the more mechanical arts, like chess, mathematics, and classical music performance - which require more pattern recognition. You never find them in the intuitive arts or the arts that require years of personal experience, such as improvisational jazz or blues, writing, poetry, therapy . . . . cooking.
Sometimes nicknamed the 'Mozart of chess', wunderkind Magnus Carlsen started playing competitive chess at the age of 8, and by the age of 13 years, 3 months, and 27 days was the second youngest Grand Master in the world ever. A tactical genius, with a current rating of 2625, here is one of his games with his own annotations, which shows the kid does his homework:

The following game is Carlsen-Ernst, from the Corus Chess Tournament, in 2004.

1. e4 c6
A surprise in move one! I had prepared for the Ruy Lopez.
2. d4 d5 3. Nc3 dxe4 4. Nxe4 Bf5 5. Ng3 Bg6 6. h4 h6 7. Nf3 Nd7 8. h5 Bh7 9. Bd3 Bxd3 10. Qxd3 e6 11. Bf4 Ngf6 12. O-O-O Be7 13. Ne4 Qa5
13...Nxe4 is possible, followed by 14. Qxe4 Nf6 15. Qd3 Qd5 (15...Qa5 16. Kb1 0-0 causes the continuation) 16. Kb1!? (16. c4 is more common) 16...Nh5 17. Bc1 followed by Ne5 gives good compensation for the pawn.
14. Kb1 O-O 15. Nxf6+ Nxf6
Not 15...Bxf6 16.g4!
16. Ne5
Polgar actually played 16.g4 in this position also - against Anand in last years Wiijk an Zee. I reckoned Ernst was well familiar with this continutation and therefore chose a quieter line.
16...Rad8 17. Qe2
This was the last theoretical move I knew. Still, I had used 45 minutes to decide upon which line to play.
17...c5!? (See diagram.)

17...Qb6 18.c3 (18.Rd3 was recommended by some commentators, but it looks like it may be possible for black to snatch the pawn, for instance 18...Rxd4 19. Be3 Re4!) 18...c5 was definitely a better choice for black.
18. Ng6! fxg6?
The alternative 18...Rfe8 19.Nxe7+ Rxe7 20.dxc5 was preferable, but black is in trouble here as well.
19. Qxe6+ Kh8 20. hxg6!
Black is actually defenseless.
20. ... Ng8
The best try. 20...Rd7 or 20...Rde8 are both driven back by 21. Rxh6+ gxh6 22. Bxh6 Rg8 23. Qf7 cxd4 24. Bg5! (In the line after 20...Rde8 the response 22...Qb6 fails to 23. g7+ Kh7 24. gxf8=Q Bxf8 25. Qf7+ Kxh6 26. f4! with a mating attack.)
21. Bxh6 gxh6 22. Rxh6+!
The real point of the combination.
22...Nxh6 23. Qxe7 Nf7
The only move.
24. gxf7
Interestingly enough had 24. Qf6+? been played before, but after 24...Kg8 25. Rh1 Nh6 26. Qe7 Nf7 27. Qf6 white only gets a draw.
After 24...Qb6 25. Qe5+ Kh7 26. Rh1+ Kg6 27. Rh5 black has to give up his queen with 27...Qf6 28. Rh6+ to avoid mate, but the endgame is of course hopeless.
25. Rd3?!
25. Qe5+! Kxf7 26. Rd3 would have forced black to play 26...Qe1+ to avoid mate.
This loses immediately, but 25...Qb6 26. Rg3+ Qxg6 27. Rxg6+ Kxg6 28. d5 is also easily won for white.
26. Rg3+ Rg6 27. Qe5+ Kxf7 28. Qf5+
27...Kh7 28. Qh5+ Rh6 29. Qf5+ Kh8 30. Qe5+ leads to mate.
Both 28...Ke7 and 28...Ke8 fails to 29. Re3+.
29. Qd7# 1-0


Why Australia Wants "Regime Change" in East Timor
By Nick Beams

If one were to believe the official version, the intervention of Australian troops into East Timor is driven by the purest motives. They are there simply to restore peace and stability after the collapse of government authority. But this political fiction has been increasingly exposed by events of the past few days as the power struggle which sparked the crisis comes to the surface.

The Howard government's intervention has nothing to do with protecting the interests of the East Timorese people. It is aimed at bringing about a "regime change" - the replacement of the government of Prime Minister Mari Alkatiri with an administration more in tune with Australian interests. article
(thanks to Margret RoadKnight)
Big Russ's Terrorism Quiz

1) Which is the only country in the world to have dropped bombs on over twenty different countries since 1945?

2) Which is the only country to have used nuclear weapons?

3) Which country was responsible for a car bomb which killed 80 civilians in Beirut in 1985, in a botched assassination attempt,.

4) Which country's illegal bombing of Libya in 1986 was described by the UN Legal Committee as a "classic case" of terrorism?

5) Which country rejected the order of the International Court of Justice (ICJ) to terminate its "unlawful use of force" against Nicaragua in 1986, and then vetoed a UN Security Council resolution calling on all states to observe international law?

6) Which country was accused by a UN-sponsored truth commission of providing "direct and indirect support" for "acts of genocide" against the Mayan Indians in Guatemala during the 1980s?

7) Which country unilaterally withdrew from the Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) Treaty in December 2001?

8) Which country renounced the efforts to negotiate a verification process for the Biological Weapons Convention and brought an international conference on the matter to a halt in July 2001?

9) Which country prevented the United Nations from curbing the gun trade at a small arms conference in July 2001?

10) Aside from Somalia, which is the only other country in the world to have refused to ratify the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child?

11) Which is the only Western country which allows the death penalty to be applied to children?

12) Which is the only G7 country to have refused to sign the 1997 Mine Ban Treaty, forbidding the use of landmines?

13) Which is the only G7 country to have voted against the creation of the International Criminal Court (ICC) in 1998?

14) Which was the only other country to join with Israel in opposing a 1987 General Assembly resolution condemning international terrorism?

15) Which country refuses to fully pay its debts to the United Nations yet reserves its right to veto United Nations resolutions?

(I won't insult your intelligence, folks, by telling you the single correct answer to all of the above. But here's a clue: the present leader once played the part of Cheetah in the first Tarzan film.)





Nicholas Cage stars in this strong film about the life of an international arms dealer. From the opening credits, where you steady-cam follow a single bullet from manufacture, through a first-person bird's eye-view journey until it finally reaches the forehead of its final target - to the sweet-sour, but inevitable, and logical, and so political ending, this is a insightful look behind the scenes into international arms trade. Based on a true account. (site)


The Sayings of Zen Judaism

Here are some nice thoughts to go with the recipe which follows.

* If there is no self, whose arthritis is this?

* Be here now. Be someplace else later. Is that so complicated?

* Drink tea and nourish life. With the first sip ... joy. With the second, satisfaction. With the third, peace. With the fourth, a danish.

* Wherever you go, there you are. Your luggage is another story.

* Accept misfortune as a blessing. Do not wish for perfect health or a life without problems. What would you talk about?

* A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single "oy."

* There is no escaping karma. In a previous life, you never called, you never wrote, you never visited. Whose fault was that?

* Zen is not easy. It takes effort to attain nothingness. And then what do you have? Bupkes!

* The Tao does not speak. The Tao does not blame. The Tao does not take sides. The Tao has no expectations. The Tao demands nothing of others. The Tao is not Jewish.

* Breathe in. Breathe out. Breathe in. Breathe out. Forget this and attaining Enlightenment will be the least of your problems.

* Let your mind be as a floating cloud. Let your stillness be as the wooded glen. And sit up straight. You'll never meet the Buddha with such rounded shoulders.

* Be patient and achieve all things. Be impatient and achieve all things faster.

* To Find the Buddha, look within. Deep inside you are ten thousand flowers. Each flower blossoms ten thousand times. Each blossom has ten thousand petals. You might want to see a specialist.

* To practice Zen and the art of Jewish motorcycle maintenance, do the following: Get rid of the motorcycle. What were you thinking?

* Be aware of your body. Be aware of your perceptions. Keep in mind that not every physical sensation is a symptom of a terminal illness.

* The Torah says,"Love thy neighbor as thyself." The Buddha says there is no "self." So, maybe you are off the hook.

* The Buddha taught that one should practice loving kindness to all sentient beings. Still, would it kill you to find a nice sentient being who happens to be Jewish?

* Though only your skin, sinews, and bones remain, though your blood and flesh dry up and wither away, yet shall you meditate and not stir until you have attained full Enlightenment. But, first, have a little nosh.
(thanks to Joshua Roberts)



The Cure for the Common Cold: Chicken Soup with Kneidle


This the Mach 2 recipe for this classic jewish dish. Mainly because I went to that iconic Russian-Jewish restaurant, Scheherezade, in St Kilda, on Wednesday (the only day they make matzo balls) and humbled myself before the masters again. It had been years since I tasted a 'historically' accurate chicken soup with kneidle (singular of knaidlach) and - just like returning to classic literature for writing inspiration - once again I was reminded of important and easily forgotten 'Zen of Matzo' principles such as lightness (melt-in-your-mouth, not chewy) clarity and colour (clarified and lightly saffroned stock) and crucial seasoning (fresh dill). So I immediately went home and fine-tuned my own recipe (which, truth be told, was getting a bit lead-footed in the matzo.) Here it is. Only for serious chicken soup fans who are prepared to put in the time and care to get the results. And want to relieve their cold symptoms.

Make the chicken soup. Place one or two chicken carcasses (bones) and a couple chicken breasts in a pot of water (about two inches above the chicken pieces), add a bay leaf, and some black pepper corns. Bring to a boil, skim off as much of the scum from the top, reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about an hour. Add water if needed. Spoon off about a half cup of 'smaltz' (chicken fat) and stock to use for the matzo balls. Strain the stock, shred the chicken piece slightly and set aside.

To clarify the stock: place the whites of 4 eggs, about a half finely chopped onion, and half finely chopped carrot into a blender and blend until frothy. Pour the mixture into the stock and bring to a low simmer and simmer for about a forty minutes. A 'raft' of debris will form. Strain the stock carefully through a piece of muslin, watching not to disturb the 'raft' in the centre. Place the clarified stock into a clean pot, add the chicken pieces and a handful of uncooked white rice.

Add four or five strands of good saffron to a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice and a couple tablespoons of hot stock and stir well. Let rest for about fifteen minutes until the golden colour is released from the saffron. Stir into the stock. Add salt to taste.

Matzo Balls (knaidlach)
Smash up some matzo crackers (either in a plastic bag or a mortar and pestle) until you have about 2 cups of fine crumbs. Place in a bowl with a cup of fresh, fine bread crumbs (pull apart 2 or 3 slices of white bread). Add some finely chopped fresh parsley and mix thoroughly. Make a well in the centre. Beat five eggs. Add the beaten eggs to the matzo-crumb mix, three or four tablespoons of chicken fat (smaltz) from the top of the soup stock and stir thoroughly. The mixture should be light with a lot of air in it. Do not pack down or knead as this will make the matzo balls too heavy. The goal is to keep it as airy as possible without it falling apart. (Practice makes perfect!) Let rest for about a half hour until the cracker mix absorbs the liquids.

Bring another pot of water to the boil. Lightly (and I mean lightly!) fashion golf ball sized balls with the matzo mix and drop in the boiling water. A small ice cream scoop works well for this. Cover the pot and reduce heat to lowest setting and leave for about fifteen minutes. When the balls are tender and ready, lift out carefully and add to the soup stock. Continue to simmer the soup for another half hour so that the flavours of the stock are absorbed into the matzo balls and the rice is cooked. Check and adjust seasoning.

To Serve: ladle some soup and two or three matzo balls into a large white bowl. Place a couple of sprigs of fresh dill in the middle for garnish and a grinding of black pepper.

Serve with: Steamed Brussels Sprouts (or fresh Broccoli) tossed with strong garlic butter, and any of the classic jewish side dishes, such as rye bread with butter, coleslaw, potato salad, etc.

Be healed! (Is that so complicated?)


pours light
into every cup,
quenching darkness.
The proudly pious
stuff their cups with parchment
and critique the taste of ink
while God pours light
and the trees lift their limbs
without worry of redemption,
every blossom a chalice.
Hafiz, seduce those withered souls
with words that wet their parched lips
as light
pours like rain
into every empty cup
set adrift on the Infinite Ocean.
~ Hafiz ~
(Interpretive version of Ghazal 11, by Jose Orez)




The Last Hurrah

A door to door salesman knocks on a door. A boy about eight years old answers, dressed in stockings and suspenders, with a fat cigar in one hand and a large glass of red wine in the other.
"Is your mum in, son?" says the salesman,
The boy replies, "Does it fucking look like it?" (boom boom!)